How do you celebrate Pride and Prejudice‘s 200th birthday? By building a 12-foot tall statue of Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy in his wet shirt. The fiberglass statue is temporarily installed in Hyde Park but will tour the U.K. before settling in Lyme Park, Cheshire, where the famous scene was filmed.
The Outlaw Sea author William Langewiesche has a new ebook out in the “Single” format, Finding the Devil: Darkness, Light, and the Untold Story of the Chilean Mine Disaster, about the 2010 disaster that left 33 miners trapped for nearly two months.
Sarah Fay, associate editor of The Paris Review, has a piece in The Atlantic on the digitization of book reviewing, framed beautifully by references to George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Confessions of a Book Reviewer.” She praises Bookslut, Nancy Pearl, Goodreads, and The Los Angeles Review of Books for their collective skills of recommendation, reviewing, and New Criticism. I’d add The Quarterly Conversation, The Rumpus, The New Inquiry, The Morning News (for their annual Tournament of Books feature), and of course, The Millions.
Sloane Crosley, this year’s editor of The Best American Travel Writing, out today, wrote some key travel tips for those who are vain, budget-conscious, and notoriously lazy.
In theory, the author of a great novel is invisible to the reader, letting her stories and characters speak for themselves. In practice, however, it can help for an author to make herself known, as explained by Tim Parks in this essay. Sample quote: “We have the impression that if someone ever did find the full story of his life, we would immediately recognize the person we had in mind.”
One of the best parts of last month’s Cullman Center discussion between John Jeremiah Sullivan and Wells Tower was watching JJS carry on the conversation while sipping from a highball glass of whiskey. The essayist’s Southern roots and Irish ancestry of course make him no stranger to potent potables, which is why Danny Nowell’s “John Jeremiah Sullivan” cocktail is so appropriate.
If you’ve ever heard that literary skill is synonymous with a good memory, you’ve likely bemoaned your own forgetfulness, especially when it comes to important things. Tim Parks felt the same way, until he read a new book on forgetting, which led him to wonder how much knowledge we can retain. In The New York Review of Books, he tackles the paradox of the reader’s memory. You could also read our own Mark O’Connell’s review of Parks’s book Italian Ways.